- UFC hosts last event in Las Vegas for six weeks before heading back to Fight Island
- Colby Covington is a huge UFC betting favorite over Tyron Woodley in the main event
- Niko Price, Khamzat Chimaev favored over Donald Cerrone and Gerald Meerschaert
UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley is the final UFC event to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, for at least six weeks as the promotion moves back to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The 178th edition of the UFC’s Fight Night series will be headlined by a welterweight match that involves some truly bad blood, along with some lopsided UFC betting odds.
The main event comes from the welterweight division, where Tyron Woodley was the champion from July 2016 to March 2019. Woodley is now ranked fifth in the 170-pound division, three spots behind his opponent on Saturday night. Colby Covington has risen up the ranks, thanks to a high-volume pressure attack and an oversized personality (let’s just say we know which side he is voting for in the US election). Covington and Woodley have been going at it via the media and social media for a couple years now. They’ll finally settle it in the octagon in Las Vegas.
For that match, along with two other matches we think you should keep an eye on at the BetOnline sportsbook, you can watch all the action on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, starting at 2:00 PM ET with the early prelims. The prelims start at 5:00 PM ET, and the main card at 8:00 PM ET.
Colby Covington (-330) vs. Tyron Woodley (+270) – Welterweight
Covington (15-2) hasn’t fought since a fifth-round TKO loss to champion Kamaru Usman in December. He gets a former champion in Woodley (19-5-1) has lost two in a row, losing the belt to Usman in March 2019, then falling in a unanimous decision to Gilbert Burns, who is slated to challenge former teammate Usman for the belt in December. A loss could knock one of these two out of the title picture for a while. That makes the stakes really high. Not to mention, these two just don’t like each other for a whole slew of reasons.
Both fighters come from a wrestling background, so that should be neutralized. When it comes to the stand-up game, Covington throws as much as anyone. In his win over another former champion in Robbie Lawler, Covington set the UFC record for most strikes thrown at 541. Meanwhile, Woodley is more measured and has the edge in power thanks to his big right hand. But the biggest reason I’m picking Woodley is due to his MMA betting value. +270 for a former champion who is still a top-five fighter? Let’s do it.
UFC Betting Odds Pick: Woodley (+270)
Donald Cerrone (+128) vs. Niko Price (-148) – Welterweight
Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) will probably be allowed to retire on his own accord, given everything he has done for the UFC. He has lost four in a row after a unanimous-decision loss to Anthony Pettis in May (which you could argue he should have won). You can even give Cerrone credit for who he has lost to. Former lightweight champion Tony Ferguson; current interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje; former two-division champion Conor McGregor; and Pettis, who was also a former lightweight champion. That being said, he wasn’t competitive in the losses to Ferguson, Gaethje and McGregor, losing by TKO in all three.
Cerrone will face Price (14-4, 1 NC), who is coming off a TKO loss to Vicente Luque in May. Price is an all-action fighter with 10 knockout wins, which can sometimes get him in trouble. All four of his losses have come by stoppage, three by TKO/KO, and one by submission (which also came against Luque in their first meeting in October 2017). If Cerrone is smart, he can use his wrestling as he did against Pettis. He doesn’t have the chin to stand and slug it out anymore. That makes me give the sports betting edge to Price, who can end this quickly.
UFC Betting Odds Pick: Price (-148)
Khamzat Chimaev (-400) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (+300) – Middleweight
Chimaev (8-0) is the hot new prospect for the UFC, and he fought twice in 10 days to kick off his UFC career. He submitted John Phillips in the second round of their fight on July 15, then scored a TKO win over Rhys McKee in the first round on July 25th. Given that he is from Dagestan, which is also the home of current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, you might think that Chimaev is similar to the 155-pound champion. There definitely are some similarities as Chimaev has a strong takedown game, like Nurmagomedov. However, Chimaev is probably better standing up than Nurmagomedov, and obviously, he is much bigger.
Meanwhile, Meerschaert (31-13) is coming off a TKO loss to Ian Heinisch in June, and he is 2-4 in his last six fights. He has a lot of experience, and has black belts in kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. However, this seems like it is all set up for a Chimaev rout as the UFC sees they could have a new star on their hands. Meerschaert could be dangerous on the mat, but Chimaev’s ground-and-pound should be too strong.